How do you handle Dating as a Single Mom?

Lindsey - posted on 02/07/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I am a Single Mom with an 8 month old son. His father comes to our home every weekday morning to spend and hour or more with my son instead of taking him for weekends, etc.
I have been in a relationship with someone for 3 months and he is very jealous of my son's father. I try to reassure him that our realtionship is strictly about my son, but it's hard for him to understand. This is my first relationship since becoming a mom, and all new so I'm not sure what else to do!? I don't know if it will last, and my son loves him so much, it makes me weary about dating again. What is your usual rule on new guys meeting your child? (I don't want men coming in and out of his life!) How often can a mom actually go out on a date without feeling guilty that she is putting dating above her child? Any comments would be great. Dating with my son is whole new world to me. He comes first and I would rather be alone than harm him in any way, but I would love more than anything to find a good man that can complete our family and be a good role model.

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Jenelle - posted on 02/10/2010

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Well, for starters, you have to begin dating on your own terms. It takes a very mature man to realize that your child(ren) come first, as should his. He also has to be patient and allow you to decide how much is just enough to keep you feeling balanced. The more I date, the more I understand that there are guys out there that don't mind that you have a child. In fact, at some point in time, you have to expect everyone to have some kind of "baggage" for lack of a better term, or else they may have some serious underlining issues that need to be investigated....off point. It's all about balance. And everyone being true to themselves on how much they can and are willing to give.

As far as "dad" only coming over to your house every morning, you may one day have to have a heart to heart and let him know that he should start taking the child on his own and allow you to have some alone time as well, because right now I think you're being played. Don't get me wrong, it's great he wants to be a part of your childs life and actually see him, but without knowing all of the circumstances, you may need to buckle down and give your serious boyfriends and you the same quality time that you and your ex had at one point in time.

Jennifer - posted on 02/08/2010

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I have a 4 year old son and 10 1/2 year old daughter - I have dated but made sure it was on my time when they were with their dad. It made things hard but it sure was reassuring to me that the kids hadn't met some of them b/c when it was over, my kids were hardly effected. I know that I can't always "protect" them and I will make mistakes but it's my job to weed out all the bad ones not them :)
In the meantime they don't have another man walking away from them - even though I know this is not the case they don't know the difference. Many other single moms have told me I am not being realistic but for now it's what I feel comfortable with while I date and look for the right one to join our family :)

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Stephanie - posted on 02/12/2010

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Well, how often to go on dates? That would pretty much be what you are comfortable with. Obvisouly not every night, but even if you do go out a couple times a week, don't feel bad. You need "you" time as well. (And you'll probably be a lot happier and pateint for having had that break.) As for when to involve them with you child, I have no idea. I dated one guy for about 5 months and my daughter was involved right from the start. She ended up quite attatched to him and was really upset when we stopped seeing eachother. (The fact that she loved his dogs and we can't have on didn't help.) So if anyone does have any advice on that I would like to know too. How do you find a happy medium between having him being involved with your child and not letting the child get attached until you are totally sure? And if you are still in the realationship with the jealous bf, it probably will not get better and usually ends up spilling over into other aspects of your life, so probably not the best idea...

Shanna - posted on 02/11/2010

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Hmm.. I've also been having the same concern for quite some time already.. How do you exactly handle those kind of situations? And what if you're not ready and you don't want to? How are you supposed to deal with it?

Lindsey - posted on 02/10/2010

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You are right about me having to put my foot down, Jenelle. One of my boyfriends complaints is that he feels my ex gets more respect than him. That isn't the case but I do keep my mouth shut and just take what I can get from my X, basically making no demands. I can see how this would bother my boyfriend.
I will soon make him take our son and contribute more the the care of him. I just want us to have a positive relationship so bad for our son, it makes me bite my tongue on things I would usually have a strong opinion about. Thanks for the kick in the butt to stand up to my X. He is getting away with doing as little as possible and I shouldn't settle for that.

Thankfully my boyfriend is such a good guy and loves me and my son enough that he does understand or at least have patience with the situation. I'm definitely lucky.

Tina - posted on 02/10/2010

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I am a single mum to a daughter who is now just over 8yrs and i know exactly where you are coming from.I have only had 3 partners over the last few yrs due to the fact i didnt want my daughter to think it was ok for men to come in and out of her life and just wanted to give her all my attention and security,putting my needs aside.She is my world as your son is yours but you deserve 'me time' and there is nothing to feel guilty about.you are still you and need to have fun in life that doesnt mean your wrong and it doesnt mean your lettin your son down in anyway,as long as your happy,he is happy.In regards to your new partner im sure he will learn to understand the situation in time as you wld if the shoe was on the other foot.if its ment to be it will be but if its not dont let it put you down its just a blip and your strong and it will get easier in time just be positive and be happy x

Lindsey - posted on 02/09/2010

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That 3 Month Rule is a great idea Amber! I think that is a good base to work off of. If a relationship can make it through 3 months it is usually ready to go to the next level, and you know all you need to (usually) about the guy by then.
Jennifer, I know its so hard to date when you've been hurt before but 7 years is so long! You deserve to have a supportive, loving partner! I wish all guys came with their own warning label! lol It is tough to be sure you are investing time into a guy who is sincere and worth while. I would listen to the other ladies and go with a 3 month rule as far as meeting your daughter, and try to set aside a weekend a month (at first) to start meeting guys and putting yourself out there! We all know there are ASSHOLES out there, but I KNOW there are Prince Charmings too! :-)

I appreciate all your comments on this. I feel alot better now about leaving my son with my parents or his father occasionally to get a night out with my boyfriend. The fact that none of you have even commented on the arrangement that my X comes by every morning, reassures me that everyone has to do what works for them. My boyfriend kept saying it was weird, but we all just do what we have to do! Hopefully my X will have his own place soon and be able to take him for weekends, etc. and things will be easier then.
Good Luck to all you other single moms who are trying to give your children the world, including a great father figure and complete family. :-)

Amber - posted on 02/09/2010

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I have 4 children, ages 11, 9, 6 and 5, and I have a 3 month rule. My kids don't meet anyone I date for the first 3 months. It gives me the opportunity to week out the bad ones as Jennifer said. Although I get little to no support from their dad, my kids spend at least 2 nights a month at my mom's house, so I use those nights.
It gives me the opportunity to check my comfort levels, and keeps my kids safe not only from real harm, but from really getting close to a man, and feeling a loss when it doesn't work out. I can't protect them from everything, but I can minimize the chances of them being affected.

Jennifer - posted on 02/08/2010

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This conversation was very helpful for me. I'm single and my daughter is 7. I guess I watched too many lifetime movies when I was pregnant, or it might be because my ex is such an abusive ass....that has no contact with either me or my daughter....but I just don't date at all. I get lonely, sure, but I am just too afraid of hurting my little girl. People are nuts, and you never know what you are bringing home...hell, I didn't know what I married until way after the fact, and I'm just terrified that some freak will hurt me or my daughter and I would never get over it. How do you get past that to be able to date...because 7 years is a LONG time to go without!?

Lindsey - posted on 02/08/2010

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Thanks Sara! You are right! I don't want to or have to apologize for the fact that my sons father is a good man and will always be involved with my son and be his father no matter who I'm with at the time. That's what is frusterating. A guy should understand that just because he is coming around for his son, doesn't mean I'm sleeping with my x.

Sara - posted on 02/07/2010

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I went thru the same thing. Ive been dating for a year and have finally found the right guy. I usually went with "safe" guys. Friends of friends or guys I already knew for my sons safety (not like that always works, but thats what google is for). I dated 2 guys that were extremely jealous of my son's father. I refuse to appoligize that my x is a good enough man to want to be involved in his son's life despite our differences. If you keep searching and are discreat you will find some one mature enough to be in you and your son's life. I have found my true love that loves my son and respects the fact that I will be connected to my x for the next 18 years whether I like it our not.

Samantha - posted on 02/07/2010

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well dating with a child with be a little difficult because you dont know how some men will take that you have a child and your son's father is still in the picture for your son.. but if you had made it clearly to the guy your dating or seeing know then i dont understand why he would have a problem has long has he knows that you dont want anything to do with your child's father like that at all... dont feel guilty that you want to go out on a date with a guy... an its very true you and your son comes first and all men should know that an should never exspect nothing less... you will find a great guy and true love one day just take it day by day and see what the world brings to you.. All you need is to have alot of faith in it...

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i know how you feel... if dating a new guy for the first time dont put off letting him know you have a son.. that should be one of the first things you should tell them.. im lucky enough to have found a guy who loves me and my daughter and i couldnt have asked for more. if you go out on a date then go somewhere family orientated like a picnic in the park and then maybe some alone time during week nights when your son is asleep... dont talk about your sons father in front of your new partner that will just make him more jelouse and if he cant get over the fact that you see him every morning then maybe he just isnt worth it. he should be supporting you through all this not making it worse.

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